Science fiction film  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Science fiction film is a film genre that uses speculative, science-based depictions of imaginary phenomena such as extra-terrestrial lifeforms, alien worlds, and time travel, often along with technological elements such as futuristic spacecraft, robots, or other technologies. Science fiction films have often been used to provide social commentary on political or social issues, and to explore philosophical issues, such as "what makes us human."

The genre has existed since the early years of silent cinema, when Georges Melies' A Trip to the Moon (1902) amazed audiences with its trick photography effects. From the 1930's to the 1950's, the genre consisted mainly of low-budget B-movies. After Stanley Kubrick's 1968 landmark 2001: A Space Odyssey, the science fiction film genre was taken more seriously. In the late 1970s, big-budget science fiction films filled with special effects became popular with audiences. The hugely influential Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, appeared, paving the way for the blockbuster hits of subsequent decades, such as E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) and Men in Black (1997).


Further reading

Cultural theorist Scott Bukatman has proposed that science fiction film is the main area in which it is possible in contemporary culture to witness an expression of the sublime be it through exaggerated scale (the Death Star in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope), apocalypse (Independence Day) or transcendence (2001: A Space Odyssey). [Aug 2006]

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Science fiction film" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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